[credit provider=”Photo courtesy of Meg Sommers” url=”http://www.megsommers.com/”]
A wolf named 832F was shot and killed by hunters on Thursday outside Yellowstone National Park, The New York Times’ Nate Schweber reported Sunday.The death of the 6-year-old grey wolf, described by one wildlife photographer as the “most famous wolf in the world,” was so distressing it sparked reactions around the country, including a heartfelt blog post from the The Times.
832F was the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. The beloved wolf’s mate, 754, was killed two weeks earlier.
At least eight other Yellowstone wolves were shot in the last two weeks.
Wolves that wander outside Yellowstone’s invisible boundary into Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming — where 832F strayed — are targeted by ranchers and hunters who want to protect their livestock and big game herds.
Wolf hunting is legal in Wyoming. The state removed wolves from the endangered species list this September. Hunting season began on Oct. 1.
The death of 832F, however, will be mourned by millions of people who were drawn out West to see the national park’s four-legged celebrity, who upheld her formidable reputation by once running off an encroaching wolf pack that threatened to kill four newly-born pups.
Researchers who hoped to gain insight into wolf behaviour by tracking the animal’s whereabouts with a GPS collar are also devastated.
(Image: Courtesy of Yellowstone Gate)